I don't like the really long tacky nails with a lot of baubles glued on top but rather the simple, short and sweet appeals to me. So I looked into how to keep the nails from smudging, bought the appropriate top coat and used Lily as my guinea pig. I used the head of a straight pin to make the dots. I wanted to use black but Lily wasn't buying into it. However, she loved the outcome so much she asked if I could take a picture to post on the blog (see above). I hope this will be the first of many experiments with nail art. Lily agrees. She and I went on a few nail art sites and she picked out a few favorites (see below). I'll have to make a special trip to Sally's Beauty Supply to get some new colors (all I have are aqua, hot pink, a gooey black and nude;)
Some great tips that helped the polish to keep from chipping, smudging and looking messy:
Sand down nails beforehand.
When you paint don't go all the way to the cuticle. If you look at nail art photos you'll see that many of them apply the polish just above the nail bed and it looks professional. (But I didn't do this with Lily since her fingernails are so small to begin with).
Apply two coats of polish (you don't have to wait in between coats).
Apply fast drying top coat (A MUST)!
Wait a full hour to do anything that requires you to use your fingernails (even though the topcoat says it fully dries in five minutes, it doesn't really cure for a good hour. So if you bump your fingernail it WILL push and wrinkle the polish.)
When I did these things my nails did not chip and had a crisp, smooth and shiny look. And I've always struggled in the past.
Hope I've inspired you to go out and get your color on;) Here were a few of my favorites (a little more conservative compared to the above examples).